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Monitoring of academic institutions to check sexual abuse of students

Aug 13 (ST) The raid on the Leadership Training Academy in Hantanne, Kandy, where unsuspecting teenagers have been sexually abused by their tutors, has brought to the fore, the need to monitor mushrooming residential tutories in the country. Last week, following the escape of two teenagers from the academy which had recruited several teenagers (16-17 years), claiming to coach failed students of GCE Ordinary Level exam, the hoax has been exposed. more..

Death sentence for rape and killing of young graduate

Aug 13 (Island) The killer of a young woman graduate at Katudeniya in the Matale District was sentenced to death by Central Provincial High Court Judge. In this case Densil Jayawardana of Katudeniya was indicted of rape and murder of the 26-year-old graduate by attacking her with a sledge hammer at his residence on May 25, 2014. Judge Wijesundera, after concluding hearing of the case in addition to the passing of death sentence on the accused, recorded a jail term of 20 years more..

No Navy pirating of our land, say Mullaitivu residents

Aug 13 (ST) When officials from the Mullaitivu office of the Surveyor-General’s Department went this week to mark the boundaries of a plot of land to be acquired by the navy, they were turned back by residents. The officials were in the final stages of taking over 617 acres of land, at least half of it privately owned. Blocking the officials from surveying the land, the residents of Vadduvaakal and Mullivaikkal in Mullaitivu staged a protest more..

An old custom is revived

Aug 13 (ST) Kandy’s biggest pageant, Sri Dalada Esala perahera, is here again. The perahera begins on Aug 8 and continues for ten days, ending with the Daval (Day) perahera on Aug 18. There are five Kumbal and five Randoli peraheras. People take their young children to view the first Kumbal perahera believing it to bring them good health. The origins of the Dalada perahera date back to the time of King Kirthi Sri Meghavanna who received the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha, more..

CID hunts for Editor’s diary

Aug 13 (CT) The CID has launched a probe to figure out which high-ranking Police Officer, in the department, had got hold of the diary that was taken from the vehicle, used by former The Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickremathunga on the day of his slaying. CID sources said, the diary used by the former journalist had been misplaced for the past seven years and if it could be located it would invariably lead to many other disclosures concerning the murder. more..

Rape and abuse of girls exposes rotten society of perverts

Aug 13 (ST) Amid a shocking and shameful disclosure that as many as 750 cases of child rape or sexual abuse have been reported so far this year, with many more going unreported, comes the horror of horrors of a 13-year-old girl. Behind the physical and mental devastation of this innocent child who had been repeatedly raped by more than 20 perverts over three years lies the viscious circle of poverty that forced both her parents to toil from more..

IUSF urges medical undergraduates’ parents to protest against SAITM

Aug 13 (Island) Undergraduates will start a protest campaign with parents of all medical undergraduates next week against the Malabe Private Medical College, SAITM. Convener of IUSF Lahiru Weerasekera said. He said they had already discussed with parents of medical undergraduates of Colombo, Sri J'pura, Kelaniya, Ruhuna, Peradeniya, Jaffna, Rajarata and Eastern Universities. "We have educated our parents on the danger of SAITM during the past three weeks," he said. more..

SLFPers in bid to unite MS, MR & CBK

Aug 13 (CT) A group of senior SLFP MPs is aiming to get President Maithripala Sirisena, his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa and ex-President Chandrika Kumaratunga to patch up their differences and come together on one platform at the party's 65th anniversary celebrations scheduled to be held in Kurunegala early next month. These SLFP MPs are of the view that the trio has to forget their differences and work towards the success of the party, not only at the next LG polls, but more..

'English laws to apply to Colombo port city'

Aug 13 (ENS) English laws will apply to the autonomous Colombo Port City, which is being built with Chinese funds and expertise, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, said. He said that a British team would be in SL soon to advice the govt on this. To be known as the Financial City, Colombo Port City, to be built on land reclaimed from the sea near the Colombo Port, is expected to be a business and financial hub between Singapore and Dubai. more..


Aug 14 (SO) Never has a claimed name been such a misnomer. The dissident group of MPs of the old UPFA coalition have endeavoured to establish their identity in the political arena by calling themselves as the Joint Opposition. These columns have, time and again, queried how their group alone could be called joint when the all the other political parties in the Opposition in Parliament were not with them. This alone makes such a name misleading to the public, citizens who have voted in all those more..

Time to get cracking on the job

Aug 14 (SL) Any coalition runs into trouble after a short while, married people know very well. Political coalitions – called it marriages – are no exceptions. No worse incompatible partners than UNP and the SLFP for a political marriage could have been found. No astrologer or political analyst -who are astrologers of a kind- would have dared recommended the union. Yet, after one year and eight months the union is firmly holding together although indecent proposals to break-up more..

Exams: Running the gauntlet

Aug 14 (SO) Despite many incidents of irregularities and frauds reported at this year’s Advanced Level examination, education authorities claim that the numbers of such incidents have fallen significantly this year due to the stringent steps taken by them. According to the Commissioner General of Examinations W.M.N.J Pushpakumara, while 150 incidents were reported last year only 48 have been reported to date, this year. more..

Hatred: A sign of failure

Aug 14 (CT) Parliament is fairly saturated with a hatred that's as tangible as the odour of a cesspool, as Speaker would have it, though he put it in more genteel terms. Scanning current political scenario in the country, one is stuck by the underlying factor of wages lagging far below rising prices and taken together with unemployment threatening to soar over the next few years; they translate into issues which demand to be meaningfully addressed as matters of national priority. more..

China back in the driving seat

Aug 14 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, responding to the Joint Opposition’s objections to ETCA, observed wryly that had the JO been around at the time, it would no doubt have also opposed Arahat Mahinda. "They surely would have opposed him coming and propagating the message of the Buddha in this country," he observed. Wry and apt in a political culture where the Opposition believes that its responsibility is to oppose anything and everything proposed or done by the govt. more..

'We did our best during our time'

Aug 14 (SL) Former Media Minister and member of the Joint Opposition (JO) Keheliya Rambukwella said the issue of the political prisoners has to be solved in a legal process. He said that the judiciary cannot be pressurised unnecessarily or put on a timeframe as its process has to take its own course. He further said the judiciary has valid reasons to take certain decisions and as politicians, they should get involved in that process. more..

Port City: A dragon in the making

Aug 14 (ST) The signing of the re-negotiated Colombo Port City project now re-named as Colombo International Financial Centre was fast forwarded for last Friday. No one knows what the rush was when it was earlier scheduled for Aug 16. What’s in a name, one might ask; a rose by any other smells as sweet; or conversely, a stink is a stink. Coinciding with the signing ceremony in Colombo, is the PM winging away to China on what is officially referred to as an observation tour more..

Taking Basil’s side against all odds

Aug 14 (ST) My dear SB, I thought I must write to you because you are in the news again – this time, saying that you saw nothing wrong in what Basil had done during the elections when he allegedly bought some pipes with his ministry’s money and distributed them for election work. SB, I do admire your ability to change your beliefs from time to time to suit your needs. You have gone from blue to green and then blue again and now you seem to be changing sides from Maithri to Mahinda maama once again. more..

Sarath Amunugama

Crucial times ahead as UN Chief plans hush-hush visit to Sri Lanka

Aug 14 (CT) President Sirisena is all set to drive forward his party on a different path as the SLFP is planning to celebrate its 65th anniversary more splendidly and proudly on 4 Sep in Kurunegala. Interestingly, President Sirisena who celebrated the 64th anniversary in his hometown Polonnaruwa last year after assuming office has this time chosen Kurunegala, the electorate of his predecessor and now MP Mahinda Rajapaksa to hold the 65th Convention which he vows will be more more..

SL vs Eng U-19: Fernando, Ashan lead Sri Lanka to series-clinching victory

Aug 14 (CI) Sri Lanka held their nerve to claim the Royal London Under-19 one-day series with one match to spare after a tense finish in Chelmsford. The tourists, who had won the first match of the series comfortably in Wormsley last Wednesday, seemed to be cruising again at 229 for three in the 36th over, after England had posted 315 for 8. But the dismissal of their opener Avishka Fernando for an excellent 117, run out by a direct hit from Somerset's offspinner Dom Bess more..

Suspension of Port City project: A political gimmick?

Aug 14 (SL) Colombo Port City has been the subject of heated discussions in recent times. However, with PM’s scheduled official trip to China, topic has once again come to fore. It is said that the key objectives of PM’s tour include signing of a new contract regarding the Port City project. It is said to be signed in China on Aug 15. Accordingly, China’s biggest investment project in Sri Lanka, Colombo Port City Project, more..

Port City project balances India, China

Aug 14 (SO) The final preparations were being made for signing the tripartite agreement between the Colombo Port City, Megapolis authority and, UDA with legal, operational and management teams going over the nitty-gritty of this bulky document with a fine tooth comb; but, the Chief Marketing and Sales officer for Colombo Port City was a thousand miles away attending the 16th National Convention of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India, Shanghai, China. more..

Whitewashing World Champs adds to win

Aug 14 (CT) SSC, where the Headquarters of Cricket is located, has the opportunity for a perfect fairy tale ending to the Sri Lanka-Australia Test series. This important location could lend itself to a historic whitewash, or in this case, a brown-wash, of the World's No.1 Test Team. It has never been done by the Lankans to a top team. For the first time they will have their hands on the Murali-Warne Trophy, which has been put up for Sri Lanka - Australia Test series. more..

Aus hapless before de Silva's insouciance

Aug 14 (CI) Regimes change every few years, the rupee is dropping, and climate change is heating up our seas, but the one great, immutable truth about life is that nowhere in the universe does time move slower than in a SL govt office. The island's bureaucrats are a marvel of evolution. Having come to life in a primordial soup of bribes, backhanders and political favours, these folk have, over billions of years, become perfectly more..

OMP Act: Yahapalana hegemony in action

Aug 14 (Island) The passage of the Office of Missing Persons Bill in parliament once again saw the worst characteristics of the so-called yahapalana govt on display last Thursday. All the decisions concerning the Bill was made by the yahapalana partners who dominate both the govt and the opposition in parliament and the Bill was rammed through in just 40 minutes disregarding all the objections raised by JO which is the largest group in the opposition – twice as large as TNA & JVP put together. more..

SA Emerging team ready for Sri Lanka

Aug 14 (S24) South Africa Emerging team coach Shukri Conrad is expecting their SL counterparts to bounce back strongly when the two sides begin their four-day series on Sunday. Two sides will play two matches, the first in Potchefstroom from Aug 14-17, followed by a second game in Pretoria from Aug 21-24. Sri Lanka Development Emerging team endured a tough time in the recently concluded Cricket South Africa (CSA) Tri-Series, winning just one out of their six matches in a competition won by more..

SL no-balls Aussie pitch doctoring doosra

Aug 14 (ST) The inevitable Aussie whining season is on show. Now the latest is the complaint in some Australian media that the Galle wicket may have been doctored. This was big news in the The Australian soon after SL’s series victory in Galle. SL chief cricket curator Geoffrey Dabarera dismissed the allegations levelled by The Australian. He explained, “First, the Galle wicket was handed over to ICC match referee prior to the game. more..

J & J in dispute over distributorship

Aug 14 (ST) GSG Distributors (Pvt) Ltd (GSG), a local distributor for the multinational Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in Sri Lanka, has filed action in the Commercial High Court claiming damages in a sum of Rs. 250 million for breach of agreement and opportunity lost due to arbitrary actions of the multinational company, a plaint filed by GSG revealed. GSG was the distributor responsible for the logistics in the distribution of J&J products among the supermarket chains islandwide. more..

VAT ruling victory for good governance

Aug 14 (ST) SC this week issued a ruling on the VAT case, decreeing that the due process was not followed and hence, the imposition of the tax – already in place – cannot be proceeded with. There was no notice however on Inland Revenue Department (IRD) website or otherwise informing the public of the court decision, which should have been done like earlier when the IRD posted a notice dated July 12 which announced the suspension of the VAT tax pending a determination of the court. more..

SL’s tax collection in a major legal tangle

Aug 14 (ST) Even after the VAT revision was nullified by the Supreme Court on Monday, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) continues to collect some other taxes revised or introduced in the 2016 budget without the parliamentary approval which could create further legal implications and confusion, legal experts warned. Apart from VAT and NBT which the court has taken objection too, 5 other items – Income Tax, Corporate Tax, more..

Low awareness of trade policy intricacies

Aug 14 (SO) Business leaders concerned about Sri Lanka opening up the economy should think of offensive interests – what sectors and product lines they want the other country, in a proposed trade deal, to open up and give preferential access to, according to Anushka Wijesinha, Chief Economist of the CCC. The country’s transition to an economy that is more open to the world will not be easy, he said in a recent speech, noting that business leaders should think not only of protecting their more..

Lasantha probe: Bank details of intelligence sleuths sought

Aug 14 (SL) CID has submitted to 23 banks and financial institutions a court order seeking details on 60 army intelligence officers who are to be investigated in connection with the murder of the founding Editor of The Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge. Court approval to investigate the bank accounts was obtained by the CID on Thursday. CID sources said that they visited 23 state and private banks and financial institutions on Friday to submit the court order. more..

Rakna Lanka: 1.4B funds sans ministry approval

Aug 14 (SO) Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Limited failed to obtain approval of the Ministry of Finance for investments amounting to over Rs. 1,400 million, so said COPE Chairman Sunil Handunetti. From 2003, approval of the authorities has not been sought for the budget of the institution. The approval of the Department of Public Enterprises too has not been obtained for the organisational structure and the cadre and more..

Cricketer shot dead in Ambalangoda

Aug 14 (CT) H. Premasiri, a first-class cricketer turned businessman, was shot dead by an unidentified assailant in Manemulla, Ambalangoda on Friday night. The victim was driving home with his young son when the assailant opened fire at him at close range, killing him on the spot, informed sources said. The victim's son was admitted to the Balapitiya Hospital with critical injuries. It is learnt that he received gunshot injuries and was also injured when the car careened off more..

Tall order for Geethani today

Aug 14 (SO) SL’s promising long distance runner Niluka Geethani Rajasekara will make her Olympic debut when she competes in the women’s marathon of the Rio 2016 Games to be worked off at Sambodromo here Sunday commencing at 9.30 am local time (6 pm SLT). Rajasekara completed her final work out today under the watchful eyes of her coach Sajith Jayalal, who has been guiding the Lankan lass after the sudden death of Brigadier Parry Liyanage, who has coached many more..

COPE questions CB Tender Board Chair

Aug 14 (CT) The COPE last Friday questioned Central Bank Deputy Governor P. Samarasiri who chaired the Tender Committee that dealt with the controversial Treasury Bond issue in February 2015. COPE met last Friday at the Parliament complex for a chat with a few high ranking officials including Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajith Coomarswamy and Deputy Governor P. Samarasisri on the now infamous Bond issue. more..

Ultra modern technology hub in Trace City

Aug 14 (SO) The London Stock Exchange Group’s Business Services division (LSEG BSL) in Sri Lanka will soon open its new headquarters in the Expert City precincts, the former Tripoli Market. The new Business Services division in Sri Lanka will provide support to the Group’s operating entities across the globe. The venture will provide the best and brightest technology talent in the country with the opportunity to be a part of an ever expanding, innovative knowledge hub. more..

Dengue hits new low but can escalate

Aug 14 (SO) Suspected dengue cases islandwide have slumped drastically over the past one month Epidemiology Unit sources said. At least six districts which recorded an incidence above the 500 mark have plunged four fold between July 31 and August 13, Health Ministry sources said. In Colombo, which registered 2,953 cases of suspected dengue in July, it tumbled to 398 in August. The Gampaha district which had 285 cases at July end, was down to 124 as of yesterday : more..

Ban Ki-moon to visit Sri Lanka

Aug 14 (CT) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is slated to visit Sri Lanka, for a crucial review, in September. UN Secretary General will arrive in the country on 2 Sept and is expected to meet President, PM and FM amongst others before he leaves the island the next day. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who is serving his last term in office, is expected to bring a strong message to govt ahead of progress review on SL in Mar 2017 more..

Northern Province’s share of expat workers shrinks

Aug 14 (Hindu) Has the Northern Province, which accounts for a major chunk of the SL Tamil diaspora, run out of its “stock of exportable manpower”? It appears so, if one were to take a cursory look at the recently-released report of the CB. Out of the 2.63 lakh people who left Sri Lanka in 2015 for foreign employment, the North’s share was a mere 3.4 with 8,945 persons. It was marginally ahead of the Uva province, which was at the bottom in the list of nine provinces. more..